The High School starts from Grade 11 to Grade 12, for children between the age of 16 and 17 years old.
Excelsior is an Authorized IB World School – Diploma Programme and, in Grades 11 and 12, offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) to students who have completed 2 years of IGCSE study or equivalent.
The IB DP is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with on-going Internal Assessment (IA) examination components and final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The IB DP has gained recognition and respect from the world's leading universities.
The IB DP prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
- Develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically
- Acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from 6 subject groups
- Develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education
- Study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own
- Make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the programme's unique theory of knowledge course
- Undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay
- Enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service
The IB Diploma Programme at EIS
This programme, one of the three offered by International Baccalaureate® (IB), is a rigorous two year pre-university education programme, for highly motivated students aged 16 to 19 years old leading to examinations. For those of you familiar with other education systems, it is an alternative to UK A-levels and US AP, but in our view ensures a much more balanced programme of study without compromising the depth required by university admissions systems throughout the world.
The IB Diploma Programme (IB DP) follows a pattern, which is consistent throughout IB schools worldwide and which allows internationally mobile students to transfer from one IB school to another. In the USA, achievement on an IB Diploma Subject Course, Diploma or Certificate, is seen as a sound basis for awarding credits at most of the major universities. In the UK, Europe and Australia, the IB Diploma is held in high regard by major universities and acts on its own as a university entrance qualification.
The IB Diploma Programme is much more, however, than a series of academic subjects. Its unique additional features of CAS, Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge ensure that students are made aware of their community responsibilities, are encouraged to develop their research skills and become independent thinkers. The underlying philosophy is that students should share an academic experience that would emphasise critical thinking, intercultural understanding and exposure to a variety of points of view.
IB Diploma students not only gain a real head start at university but also in life in general.
More information on the Diploma Programme, and other programmes, offered by IBO is available on the IBO public website: www.ibo.org.
Using the link http://www.ibo.org/country will allow you to search all universities in the world which recognize the IB Diploma as a suitable entry requirement.
The link http://www.ibo.org/diploma/recognition/scholarships also shows universities that offer scholarships for recipients of the IB Diploma.
The Diploma options at EIS
EIS provides two basic diploma options for students joining Grade 11. Students may opt to undertake the full IB Diploma (IB DP) or the Excelsior Diploma, which will be based upon the IB Diploma. The academic subjects and core components in both diplomas are exactly the same and are assessed according to official IB DP criteria. The only real difference between the two options is that students undertaking the Excelsior Diploma will not study as many subjects as those required for the IB Diploma.
- 6 IB Diploma Subject Courses
- 3 subjects studied at Higher Level (HL)
- 3 subjects studied at Standard Level (SL)
- One subject must be chosen from Groups 1 to 5
- Must enter: Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, CAS (Creativity Activity Service)
- 3 to 5 IB Diploma Subject Courses
- At least 1 subject studied at Higher Level (HL)
- At least 2 subjects studied at Standard Level (SL)
- Two languages should be chosen from either Groups 1 and/or 2
- May be entered for any of: Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay, CAS (Creativity Activity Service)
We are an inclusive school and it is important that all our students have the same learning experiences and opportunities. Therefore all students will study IB Diploma Subject Courses whether they are doing IB Diploma or EIS Diploma. Students of both Diplomas will be taught in the same classrooms, using the same curriculum content and same examinations. All students will receive official IB certification based upon what IB subjects and/or core components they were entered for and have passed successfully.
In addition to this, all our Diploma students – whether IB or EIS – will have to participate in the Core Components of Extended Essay, TOK and CAS.
DP core components
At the centre of, and integrated into all IB DP academic subjects, are the three 'core components'; Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and Creativity Activity Service (CAS).
The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. That being said, students are also able to undertake their Extended Essay in other subjects provided that there is a qualified, experienced EE Supervisor available. The Extended Essay is an independently-researched and drafted academic essay of 4000 words that explores a research question within a subject of the student's choice.
There is also the option of a 'world studies' extended essay that allows students to focus on a topic of global significance, which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
Theory of Knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
At Excelsior, we approach TOK through a collaborative approach of subject specialists in a 'TOK Team'. The TOK Team of teachers provide workshops and lectures that explore 'Areas of Knowledge' (AOK) and 'Ways of Knowing' (WOK). During the TOK Programme, students are expected to complete a TOK Presentation on a 'real-life' knowledge issue of their choice and a TOK Essay of 1600 words on a prescribed title from IB.
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is all about experiental learning; students devise their own programme of activities that are assessed by learning outcomes. Whilst each student will be guided by a CAS Supervisor, students must initiate and organize a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the programme.
'Creativity' encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. 'Activity' seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. 'Service' with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students' personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
DP students must choose one subject from each of six groups (1 to 6), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics.
The IB DP subjects on offer at EIS in August 2016 are as follows:
Individuals and Societies
Arts and Electives
Language and Literature H/SL
|English B H/SL||History H/SL||Chemistry H/SL||Maths HL||Visual Arts H/SL|
Language and Literature H/SL
|Mandarin B H/SL||ITGS H/SL||Physics H/SL||Maths SL||Biology H/SL|
|Literature and Performance SL||Mandarin ab Initio SL||Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) SL||Maths Studies SL|
|Languages A SSST SL|
Students undertaking the full IB Diploma or the Excelsior Diploma will be assessed in every subject and core component by fixed assessment criteria. By the end of the two-year Diploma Programme, students will have been assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject.
During the course of the Diploma programme, students will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, essays, projects, oral presentations and commentaries. Many of these are assessed in the school and are called Internal Assessment (IA).
In the first few days of May every year, all Diploma students will undertake their final written examinations in their subjects. Our first examination session will be in May 2018. These examinations are marked by examiners outside the school and are therefore called External Assessment (EA).
The weighting of marks between Internal Assessment and External Assessment varies between the subjects. However, it is typical that a subject will have Internal Assessment components that count for at least 20% of total marks available. Internal Assessment is very important and, if done well, certainly has a positive influence upon final subject grades. However, at EIS , we have strict regulations governing IA.
The marks awarded for each DP subject range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.
The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a DP student can be awarded is 45 points.
Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of DP assessment practice.